Vision2: Glenpool would put its share toward sports complex
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Monday, October 01, 2012
10/01/12 at 10:27 PM
Vision2: Read previous stories, an overview of Vision2 and a recap of Vision 2025.
GLENPOOL — The city of Glenpool would devote all of its $5.9 million Vision2 allocation to a single project — a major-league-themed sports complex — if the countywide sales-tax initiative is approved by voters.
In a unanimous vote Monday night, the City Council approved a resolution supporting an extension of the Vision 2025 sales tax to improve the economic condition of Tulsa County and Glenpool residents.
The city of Glenpool would own the proposed sports facility, but it would be privately operated and maintained.
City Manager Ed Tinker said the project has all the components of ventures that boost the entire region, albeit with a little risk.
“It’s big; it’s outside the box; it’s regional; and it’s risky,” Tinker said. “There’s always a little risk. There’s a little risk when I get up in the morning.”
Glenpool would be allocated $5.9 million if the Vision2 quality-of-life proposition passes this November.
The complex would cost an estimated $18 million and would include six artificial-turf fields, an indoor soccer facility, and a restaurant with ballpark views.
Tinker has said the difference would be made up by income earned on the facility.
Residents were free to ask questions about the project before the Monday evening meeting.
Tinker said that if the sports complex is not built in Glenpool, he’s confident that it will be somewhere else in Tulsa County because the market will demand it.
Mayor Tommy Carner said the project is different from a sports complex project that was proposed for the city’s Morris Park in a prior bond issue that voters rejected.
“This is different because this will make money,” Carner said.
Tinker said the previously proposed Morris Park complex would have been locally operated with no organized play, unlike the newest proposal.
“At the end of the day, that was going to cost just as much as this,” Tinker said. “The city won’t have to maintain it; we won’t have to run it; and the city gets half the profit.”
Tinker said the complex would be reserved during the week for mostly local league play. But to be profitable, he said, the facility would need to host tournaments most of the year.
“They take care of our league as part of the deal,” Tinker said.
A resident questioned why the project didn’t include outdoor fields for soccer, considering that the sport is very popular.
Tinker said an indoor soccer facility is in the plan but that officials do have land available at the site, at the southeast corner of 161st Street and Elwood Avenue, to build 10 to 20 outdoor soccer fields at some point.
Flooding is a problem at Morris Park, he said, adding that “we need to get out there on that hill.”
Tinker said later that soccer is something he hopes a franchise such as Big League Dreams, which provided a concept layout of the project, would consider if it came to Glenpool.
Big League Dreams has nearly a dozen sports facilities in California, Arizona, Texas and Nevada.
Joyce Calvert, a member of the Glenpool Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission, said that unlike children in other Tulsa suburbs, Glenpool children lack good facilities to play sports.
“Where are they going to play? How much money are you just going to dump into something that’s just going to wash away,” she asked, referring to Morris Park.
“I think (the sports complex) will be great for the community, great for the kids and a moneymaker for the kids,” she said. “I think all of it’s just a real win-win situation.”
Vision2 Co-Chairman Don Walker announces the Vision2 countywide projects ballot initiative at the BOK Center in August. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World file